A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 05, 2015
Hebrew Enemies (pork chops)

Jewish law does not permit eating pork. This fact found its way into restaurant slang, where “Hebrew enemies” became the slang for an order of pork chops. ”Couple of Hebrew enemies Two pork chops” was cited in print in 1932.

Diner slang of this type became rare after 1960, and “Hebrew enemies” is mostly of historical interest today.


Google Books
World’s Work
Volume 61
February 1932
Pg. 29 ("Lunch-Wagon Slanguage"):
Couple of Hebrew enemies Two pork chops

Google Books
JSTOR
February 1936, American Speech, “Linguistic Concoctions of the Soda Jerker” by Harold W. Bentley, pg. 43:
HEBREW ENEMIES, A COUPLE OF.  Two pork chops.

Google Books
Good Old Days Presents Hometown Memories
By Ken Tate and Janice Tate
Berne, IN: House of White Birches
1999
Pg. 123:
“I’ll take two pork chops on the special.”
“Lay a couple of Hebrew enemies on a blue plate!

Google Books
Hash House Lingo:
The Slang of Soda Jerks, Short-Order Cooks, Bartenders, Waitresses, Carhops and Other Denizens of Yesterday’s Roadside

By Jack Smiley
Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.
2012 (Originally published in 1941)
Pg. 82:
Hebrew enemies—pork chops

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, September 05, 2015 • Permalink